Last June I visited the Craftsman Experience in Chicago to teach a workshop, and noticed quite a few Craftsman tools used in unconventional ways. No, there weren’t any Craftsman tool box speaker systems, at least not yet, but there was a ratcheting toilet paper holder.
And yes, the ratchet was still at least semi-functional. I did not try to remove it from its socket, but it did rotate with ease. There were a number of other Craftsman products in the bathroom, most notably a wall cabinet and various slat-wall-style VersaTrak panels and accessories.
We’ve seen DIYers use wrenches as drawer pulls, but it doesn’t look like many have experimented with ratchets. What else do you suppose can be built with a working (or damaged) ratchet?
seems like Craftsman is embracing their nickname crapsman.
Never heard that nickname. Must be something you dreamed up.
No wonder Sears’ fortunes are in the toilet these days….They need to focus on making useful products, here in the USA, and working on ways to win back their customers. I don’t think making a toilet paper holder out of a ratchet is going to make that happen. They need to find out what products people need and want to buy; an automatic hammer (Nextec) probably isn’t one of them, either. With the economy still in poor shape, I need to plan for and buy those items that afford the best and highest utility for my available dollars.
They need to send product surveys out via e-mail to their customers, and conduct oral/written surveys at home improvement shows to find out what professionals and DIYers need. They need to seriously consider free shipping, as many companies have initiated over the past few years. If a competitior offers free (or at least reduced) shipping on products, I’m going to buy from the competitor. Look at Amazon: Free shipping on orders $25.00 and over, often the best market price and sales tax is usually not collected. The selection is unmatched in the marketplace, so it gets the lion’s share of my business.
People will also buy more products if they know they won’t incur additional charges, and they’ll buy more often. By cutting prices and/or offering free shipping, your percentage of profit may fall somewhat, but you increase overall sales to offset that reduction. You also don’t have to start closing stores. This isn’t rocket science, guys; it’s Economics 101 coupled with common sense.
This isn’t a real product.
Stuart–I realize this isn’t an actual product, but I am wondering why someone bothered to come up with it. The company is in serious trouble (as you’ve reported to us), losing market share as we speak and this is supposed to do what for them? It’s not that I’m without a sense of humor, but this didn’t impress me favorably. What is that old story about Nero fiddling while Rome burned? I grew up with Sears, and am saddened by the choices they’ve made in the marketplace these last few years.
It’s just something fun they did in the bathroom of their tool showcase/project studio. In the same sense, I’ve seen photos of a sculpture Bosch engineers made with oscillating tool blades, and if I recall correctly there’s a jig saw lamp at a Black & Decker training center near Baltimore.
This wasn’t a multi-million dollar PR stunt green-lighted by top execs, it’s a cute little adaptation likely thrown together by one of the studio’s carpenters or staff members.
Sears is in big trouble, major trouble, but much of what I’ve seen suggests that it’s not for lack of tool sales.
Something else that I found cute and will probably post about at some point – the women’s bathroom was identified with a Craftswomen sign.
Good for adjusting how your nuts seat…
I’ll stick with the TP holders and towel rails I made out of ½” black iron plumbing fittings. A ratchet is simply nuts…
Their tool sales will drop once everyone realizes that their tools are being made in CHINA. The web is a great source for sending out info fast. Many people like me are buying tools elsewhere when possible. There are many sources of quality USA made tools at craftsman prices. Just takes a little digging and you will find em. SHC has lost over 60% in sales the past 5 years or so and the reason why is poor customer service, poor attitude of younger cheaper labor. They know nothing as well. No knowledge of anyhting they sell. The stores are like walking into a funeral parlor and are dark. No lighting, no products in stock = no sales. The after purchase service is awful, ask most people that have had to use them, They do not know how to work on the products either. They blame the customer for things that went wrong with defective products making warranties useless. SHC has a lot of work to do if they want to remain in business. NO MORE CHEAP CHINESE CRAFTSMAN TOOLS. We don’t want em.